National tennis coach Deen Hesham leaves with a heavy heart

Deen Hesham (centre) is parting ways with the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia. — File pic
Deen Hesham (centre) is parting ways with the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 — National coach Deen Hesham may be leaving the Lawn Tennis Association Malaysia (LTAM) but he is hoping the new coach can take them to greater heights.

“My tenure ends on Dec 31 and the management spoke of bringing in new faces,” said Deen, who joined LTAM in 2010.

“I part ways on good terms and wish the management and players the best in their future endeavours.”

The head coach, a former national player, was satisfied with his efforts.

“When I first joined we only had two coaches. It then expanded to seven, enabling us to have a sufficient player-to-coach ratio. More of our players also started having International Tennis Federation rankings, we now have 12 players with rankings compared to two when I came in,” said Deen.

This year also saw the national team end a four-year drought at the Davis Cup qualifiers in March after they qualified for Group II of the Asia/Ocenia zone while the men and women’s team won bronze medals at the SEA Games in June.

Deen is mulling coaching abroad next year, but still has fond memories for LTAM.

“For me, the new coach must understand his role of the national team and have a right assessment of the players at his disposal,” said Deen.

“We need to produce quality players in the coming decade if we are to stamp a mark on the Asian and even world stage.

“But the immediate goal would certainly be to better our performance at the SEA Games on home soil in 2017. We are aware the likes of Thailand and Indonesia have talent, but if we can clinch silver or gold that will indicate great progress for the team.”